This Vegan Steak is made with vital wheat gluten, lentils, and seasonings to create a tender yet chewy texture and is charred in rosemary butter. This plant-based seitan steak is full of protein, incredibly flavorful, and perfect for a date night at home or a special occasion but easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner!
This vegan plant-based steak has a tender, chewy, meat-like texture and is absolutely amazing when pan-fried in vegan butter then served whole or sliced and served with your favorite side dishes, in tacos or on top of salads. So delicious and satisfying!
What is Seitan?
Seitan also called Wheat Meat has been around for centuries. It is made up of gluten but is nothing like bread! If you have purchased items in the grocery store that tasted meaty but were plant-based, for example, deli slices. That is seitan!
Seitan can be made by washing gluten which is basically where you rinse away the starch leaving the pure gluten or you can simply buy vital wheat gluten at the grocery store (which is the easier way!)
What is Vegan Steak made of?
This vegan seitan steak recipe is made up of vital wheat gluten (the main ingredient), lentils, nutritional yeast, spices, and seasonings.
Where can I find Vital Wheat Gluten?
Vital wheat gluten flour is widely available in most grocery stores or your local health food store. It is typically in the baking aisle where they have all the flour. Bob’s Red Mill is the brand I use. You can also find it online. I found that Vita Cost had the best price.
Does this seitan steak taste like steak?
Seitan tastes like seitan. I won't lie and say you'll fool a meat eater with this vegan version of a steak. But it is delicious, super flavorful, and a wonderful plant-based alternative to steak!
Watch the Video!
These vegan seitan steaks require the seitan to be steamed. I use a very inexpensive steamer basket that sits in the pot so you can use the pot and the lid that you already have.
This recipe also requires a food processor or blender. You want to pulse the wet ingredients to combine, not blend until smooth. Some texture is okay!
- Vital Wheat Gluten
- Canned Lentils
- Tomato Paste
- Shallot & Garlic
- Nutritional Yeast
- Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
You can tweak the seasonings as much as you want in this seitan recipe but I wouldn't mess too much with the main ingredients of the steak like the vital wheat gluten or the liquid amounts. One small change could change the entire texture of the seitan.
- Vital Wheat Gluten: This is what gives the seitan the meaty texture. Vital wheat gluten is the only thing that is going to give this steak the meaty texture that we are after so, unfortunately, they is no substitute.
- Canned Lentils: I haven't personally tried anything other than canned lentils but chickpeas should work as well.
- Shallots & Garlic: I love the addition of shallots and garlic. It gives the dough a little texture as well as lots of flavors. You can substitute the shallot with onion. You only need about ¼ cup of minced shallot or onion.
- Vegan Worcestershire Sauce: Vegan Worcestershire sauce can be found at most grocery stores now. Annie's has a good one and so does the brand The Wizard. If you can't find vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce, substitute with soy sauce.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: For balancing flavors. Can be substituted with white vinegar.
- Liquid Smoke: Adds a smoky flavor. This can be left out.
- Seasonings: I love smoked paprika, onion, garlic, black pepper because you want a lot of seasonings in this but you can add whatever seasonings you enjoy.
How to Make This Recipe
The full ingredient list and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.
Making the Seitan Dough:
Mince the shallot and garlic. Heat a small frying pan on medium heat and add a splash of oil. Sauté the shallot and garlic for a few minutes until soft.
Add the canned lentils, cooked shallot and garlic, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, and vegetable broth to a food processor. Blend until smooth.
Whisk together the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl.
Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir with a spatula until just combined.
Kneading the Dough:
Use your hands and knead the dough for 2-3 minutes.
Don't over-knead! This is very important or you'll end up with a very chewy steak. You should work fast when shaping the dough and aim to knead for 2 to 3 minutes max.
Shape the Steaks:
Cut the dough into four equal pieces and shape it with your hands to resemble steak shapes. Don't work it too much as this counts as kneading.
How to Steam Seitan
Wrap each individual steak in aluminum foil. Then, add some water to a large pot over high until boiling. Place the steamer basket into the pan and cover with a lid. Steam for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway. They should feel firm when done. Check occasionally to ensure the water hasn’t been absorbed.
Whisk together the marinade ingredients and brush on the steamed steaks. Let marinade for 15 minutes.
How to Sear Seitan Steak
Heat a large frying pan or cast iron grill pan on medium heat, and add 1-2 tablespoons of avocado or olive oil. Sear the vegan steaks for about 3-5 minutes each side until the steaks have a nice char. When almost done, add a tablespoon of vegan butter and baste the steaks by tipping the pan and spooning the butter over the steaks a few times.
Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes.
Tips & Tricks
Don't over knead!! This is very important or you'll end up with a very chewy steak. You should work fast when shaping the dough and aim to knead for 2 to 3 minutes max. You want to avoid over-activating the gluten but you also don't want an under-kneaded dough as that could turn out gummy. 2-3 minutes is preferred!
Make Ahead: This seitan steak tastes even better the next day! If you want to make them in advance, make the dough and steam the steaks. Unwrap them from the foil and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Marinate the steak and fry them up when you plan to serve them.
My favorite way to serve this steak is as the main protein with a potato side dish like my Garlic Rosemary Hasselback Potatoes or potato wedges and a steamed vegetable like broccoli, asparagus or green beans.
I also love slicing the leftovers and tossing them in a pan with some veggies and a sauce like a teriyaki sauce to make a delicious stir fry. Serve over rice or with rice noodles!
These seitan steaks would be great with barbecue sauce and grilled on an outdoor grill. Serve with fresh corn on the cob, roasted potatoes and vegetables.
Make a Steak Sandwich or a Philly Cheese Steak with peppers and onions. Or use in a gyro or shawarma.
More Recipes You Might Like:
- Crispy Baked Tempeh
- Crispy Pan-Fried Tofu
- Vegan Chicken Seitan
- Crispy Tofu Nuggets
- Best Tofu Ground Beef (Vegan Beef Crumbles)
- 1 Shallot minced
- 2 Garlic Cloves minced
- ¾ cup Canned Lentils
- ⅓ cup Tomato Paste
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
- ½ cup Vegetable Broth
- 1 ¾ cup Vital Wheat Gluten
- ¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
- 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
- 2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ tablespoon Agave or Maple Syrup
- ½ tablespoon Olive Oil
- Splash of Liquid Smoke
- ⅛ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ⅛ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1-2 Springs of Rosemary
- 1-2 tablespoons Vegan Butter
- Mince the shallot and garlic. Heat a small frying pan on medium heat and add a splash of oil. Sauté the shallot and garlic for a few minutes until soft.
- Add the canned lentils, cooked shallot and garlic, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke and vegetable broth to a food process. Blend until smooth.
- Whisk together the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir with a spatula until just combined. Use your hands and knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. See above for tips and tricks on kneading.
- Cut the dough in to four even pieces and shape with your hands to resemble steaks. Don't work it too much as this counts as kneading.
- Wrap each individual steak in foil. Then, add some water to a pot over high until boiling. Place the steamer basket in to the pan and cover with a lid. Steam for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway. They should feel firm when done. Check occasionally to ensure the water hasn’t been absorbed.
- Whisk together the marinade ingredients and brush on the steamed steaks. Marinate for 15 minutes.
- Heat a large frying pan or cast iron on medium heat, add 1-2 tablespoons of avocado or olive oil and a spring of fresh rosemary. Sear the vegan steaks for about 3-5 minutes each side until charred and golden. When almost done, add a tablespoon of vegan butter and baste the steaks by tipping the pan and spooning the butter over the steaks a few times.
- Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!